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Stoney Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

Welcome to our Stoney alphabet page! The following charts show the pronunciation for the Stoney orthography we have used on our site, as well as some alternate spellings that you may find in other books and websites. You may also like to visit our Siouan homepage to see how Stoney relates to other languages from the Siouan language family.

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Stoney Vowels

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Stoney pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
e    e Like the e sound in Spanish, similar to the a in English gate.
i    i Like the i in police.
o    o Like the o in note.
u    u Like the u in flute.

Stoney Nasal Vowels

Nasal vowels don't exist in English, but you may be familiar with them from French (or from hearing people speak English with a French accent.) They are pronounced just like oral ("regular") vowels, only using your nose as well as your mouth. To English speakers, a nasal vowel often sounds like a vowel with a half-pronounced "n" at the end of it. You can hear examples of nasal vowels at the end of the French words "bon" and "Jean," or in the middle of the word "Français."

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol:
â  ą, an, an, aη, aN  ã
î  į, in, in, iη, iN  ĩ
û  ų, un, on, un, uη, uN  ũ

Stoney Consonants

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Stoney pronunciation:
b    b Like b in bill.
c  ch, č  t Like ch in chair.
d    d Like d in English die.
g    g Like g in gate.
h    h Like h in hay.
j    d Like j in jar.
k  kh,  kh Like k in key.
m    m Like m in English moon.
n    n Like n in English night.
p  ph,  ph Like p in pin.
r  rh,   Pharyngeal sound that doesn't exist in English. It sounds a little like a gargle to English speakers. This is the same sound beginning Arabic words such as Abdullah.
s  th  θ ~ s Like th in thing or s in sell, depending on dialect.
sh  s, š  s ~ Like s in sell or sh in shell, depending on dialect.
t  th,  th Like t in tie.
w    w Like w in way.
x  rh,   Pharyngeal sound that doesn't exist in English. It resembles a "choked" sounding h, like the Arabic h in the word Muhammed.
y    j Like y in yes.
z  th   ~ z Like th in this or z in zoo, depending on dialect.
zh  z, ž  z ~ Like z in zoo or ge in garage, depending on dialect.
 ?   A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Stoney/Nakoda Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Stoney vocabulary
   Nakoda colors
   Nakoda numbers
   Siouan language group
   Plains Indians tribes
   Languages of Alberta

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